Book Reviews of The Picture of Dorian Gray (Barnes Noble Classics Series) (BN Classics Trade Paper)

The Picture of Dorian Gray (Barnes  Noble Classics Series) (BN Classics Trade Paper)
The Picture of Dorian Gray - Barnes Noble Classics Series - BN Classics Trade Paper
Author: Oscar Wilde
ISBN-13: 9781593080259
ISBN-10: 1593080255
Publication Date: 5/1/2003
Pages: 288
Rating:
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 157

3.8 stars, based on 157 ratings
Publisher: Barnes Noble
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

38 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed The Picture of Dorian Gray (Barnes Noble Classics Series) (BN Classics Trade Paper) on
Helpful Score: 6
The first half of this book is tedious. Wilde's uses these long monologues to establish characterization which get a bit tiresome. But stick with it. I read the second half in 1 night because it was such a page turner. All the sin that the painting depicts of Dorian is never revealed but we get a sense of how the picture became so grotesque in the second half. I won't give it away but I assure you, if you can slog through the first half the second is that much more rewarding.
reviewed The Picture of Dorian Gray (Barnes Noble Classics Series) (BN Classics Trade Paper) on + 48 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
My first Wilde work and what started me on this insane love affair. It's a great peice of classic lit and I suggest it for anyone interested in classic works or works by Irish writers.
reviewed The Picture of Dorian Gray (Barnes Noble Classics Series) (BN Classics Trade Paper) on + 23 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
I thought I could handle overwhelming decadence and debauchery, but oh, was I wrong! Excellent read, though!
reviewed The Picture of Dorian Gray (Barnes Noble Classics Series) (BN Classics Trade Paper) on + 32 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Dorian Grey is a dark and psychological look at a beautiful boy who goes very, very, bad.
reviewed The Picture of Dorian Gray (Barnes Noble Classics Series) (BN Classics Trade Paper) on
Helpful Score: 3
This is one of my favorite books. The storyline is absolutely amazing and rings true in some aspects in today's world.
reviewed The Picture of Dorian Gray (Barnes Noble Classics Series) (BN Classics Trade Paper) on + 13 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
The only reason I finished this book was because I felt a duty to the reading group I belong to. It was an extremely difficult read and I found myself skipping paragraph after paragraph. It took a very long time to get to where there was any action in the book and I almost gave up. Cannot recommend it.
reviewed The Picture of Dorian Gray (Barnes Noble Classics Series) (BN Classics Trade Paper) on + 216 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
From Amazon.com
A lush, cautionary tale of a life of vileness and deception or a loving portrait of the aesthetic impulse run rampant? Why not both? After Basil Hallward paints a beautiful, young man's portrait, his subject's frivolous wish that the picture change and he remain the same comes true. Dorian Gray's picture grows aged and corrupt while he continues to appear fresh and innocent. After he kills a young woman, "as surely as if I had cut her little throat with a knife," Dorian Gray is surprised to find no difference in his vision or surroundings. "The roses are not less lovely for all that. The birds sing just as happily in my garden."

As Hallward tries to make sense of his creation, his epigram-happy friend Lord Henry Wotton encourages Dorian in his sensual quest with any number of Wildean paradoxes, including the delightful "When we are happy we are always good, but when we are good we are not always happy." But despite its many languorous pleasures, The Picture of Dorian Gray is an imperfect work. Compared to the two (voyeuristic) older men, Dorian is a bore, and his search for ever new sensations far less fun than the novel's drawing-room discussions. Even more oddly, the moral message of the novel contradicts many of Wilde's supposed aims, not least "no artist has ethical sympathies. An ethical sympathy in an artist is an unpardonable mannerism of style." Nonetheless, the glamour boy gets his just deserts. And Wilde, defending Dorian Gray, had it both ways: "All excess, as well as all renunciation, brings its own punishment.
reviewed The Picture of Dorian Gray (Barnes Noble Classics Series) (BN Classics Trade Paper) on + 40 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Oscar Wilde is an important part of Irish Literature. His work has its own style and flavor, while still accomplishing its avante garde message. The Picture of Dorian Gray is one such example. From the moment I picked up this book, I was enthralled by the characters and the horror of finding the ugly truth about ones personality. I found this book excellent for self reflection and honestly, it is by far my favorite Wilde piece.
reviewed The Picture of Dorian Gray (Barnes Noble Classics Series) (BN Classics Trade Paper) on
Helpful Score: 1
I've heard about this book for years and glad to have finally gotten to it. It left me with a variety of emotions: melancholy, a feeling of creepiness, a sense of vindication, much saddness, thoughtfulness,...

The entire story held moral dilemmas that are timeless. "Beauty above all else is nothing". "your actions will have consequences, maybe not immediately but they will occur." "How easily one can be influenced" or "Is one influenced or did someone bring out what is truly inside of you" And many more ideas flow through this book. But as relevant as they are in 1890's, they still stand true today.

It does have it's dull points. Chapter XI was misery and I skimmed it. Hopefully I didn't miss something! As well, the constant footnotes were distracting. (But that could just be that I'm easily distracted)

The final 1/3 of the book was by far my favorite and I would like to hope that the wheels in my head will keep turning, and I will continue to think about the concepts it brought up.
reviewed The Picture of Dorian Gray (Barnes Noble Classics Series) (BN Classics Trade Paper) on + 9 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Occasionally, I try to read some of the "classics". I often run across literary references to this book, so I thought it would be a worthwhile read.
Oscar Wilde is known for some biting humor, and this book has some wonderful lines. His writing style takes a bit of getting used to for those of us accustomed to 21st century style. Wilde crafts the character of Dorian Gray in such a way that you at once pity and despise him. Good book, though not for the casual reader.
reviewed The Picture of Dorian Gray (Barnes Noble Classics Series) (BN Classics Trade Paper) on + 66 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
We read 'The Picture of Dorian Gray' and found it scarier than the movie, but profound. Other stories include 'Lady Winmere's Fan' and 'The Importance of Being Earnest'. Good for school reading lists.
reviewed The Picture of Dorian Gray (Barnes Noble Classics Series) (BN Classics Trade Paper) on + 46 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
One of best horror stories ever written.
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I have heard a lot about this book and, having read a few of Oscar Wilde's plays and enjoyed them, decided to give it a try. Overall is was a good book, if a bit inconsistent in pacing at times.

Dorian Grey is a beautiful young man, who is corrupted by a Lord to worry about how his looks might one day fade. While a portrait of him is being painted he wishes to never grow old. Later he realizes that the portrait is changing to reflect any cruelty in his nature, yet he remains the same.

Oscar Wilde is a genius at writing. The cleverness of the language he uses and the sharpness of the commentary on society is deftly done and makes the story a joy to read, most of the time. The footnotes in this version of the book help to explain some of the more subtle jokes that I would have missed without them.

The book does have some flaws, especially when compared to modern literature. Wilde takes nearly half to book to set up his characters. You can tell Wilde is a playwright at heart because many of the characters wander off into multiple page long dialogues that get to be a bit too much and sometimes a bit boring. Even in the second half of the book there are times where Dorian is reading from the book he is obsessed with and it just goes on and on and on.

The second half of the book is by far the strongest. Wilde stimulates the imagination by talking about Dorian's unspeakable acts but never revealing what the majority of the horrible acts are. I was a little disappointed that there isn't a lot more to the plot than what you read on the back of the book. That being said, the end of the book is remarkable and really made the book a wonder to me.

Overall this is a very interesting book and worth the read. Some of the lengthy dialogues can get a bit trying to read through, but most of the book has a quick wit to it that is amusing. The ending of the book holds some wonderful surprises. I would recommend reading this, especially if you are a fan of Wilde's writing style.
reviewed The Picture of Dorian Gray (Barnes Noble Classics Series) (BN Classics Trade Paper) on + 53 more book reviews
Personally it bored the crap out of me. I didn't even finish it.
reviewed The Picture of Dorian Gray (Barnes Noble Classics Series) (BN Classics Trade Paper) on + 3 more book reviews
I love the story, though I take some issue with the way Wilde presents it. There are almost entire chapters that could be stricken from the book without affecting the story at all. The bits where Wilde starts pontificating, or writing out "witty dialogue," are sleepers. However, as a previous reviewer mentioned, the second half of the book is very good. Skim the first half if you have to; the last bit is worth it.
reviewed The Picture of Dorian Gray (Barnes Noble Classics Series) (BN Classics Trade Paper) on
I really enjoyed this book because it is a very unusual book. I won't ruin it for you but the story is wonderfully told and the moral of the book catches you off guard.
reviewed The Picture of Dorian Gray (Barnes Noble Classics Series) (BN Classics Trade Paper) on + 335 more book reviews
"If it were I who were to be always young and the picture to grow old..I would give my soul for it."

The wish uttered by Dorian Gray as he gazes on his portrait forms the basis of the plot of this brilliant and disturbing story of a gilded and spoilt hedonist who, Faust-like, is willing to sell his soul for his beaute.
reviewed The Picture of Dorian Gray (Barnes Noble Classics Series) (BN Classics Trade Paper) on + 9 more book reviews
I just finished reading this book and I have to say it is not as good as I had anticipated. I am glad to have read it, but it is definitely dull in some parts. The main characters are so vain and shallow I could not work up any feeling for them at all. This is a classic, which is why I read it, but it just did not do anything for me.
reviewed The Picture of Dorian Gray (Barnes Noble Classics Series) (BN Classics Trade Paper) on + 160 more book reviews
An excellent novel! One of my all time favorites. I found the book meaningful as well as interesting. A work of art!
reviewed The Picture of Dorian Gray (Barnes Noble Classics Series) (BN Classics Trade Paper) on
A+++ book would reccomend!
reviewed The Picture of Dorian Gray (Barnes Noble Classics Series) (BN Classics Trade Paper) on + 4 more book reviews
This is a wonderful classic by Oscar Wilde.
reviewed The Picture of Dorian Gray (Barnes Noble Classics Series) (BN Classics Trade Paper) on
Great read
reviewed The Picture of Dorian Gray (Barnes Noble Classics Series) (BN Classics Trade Paper) on + 24 more book reviews
I found this a very interesting story. I really enjoyed it.
reviewed The Picture of Dorian Gray (Barnes Noble Classics Series) (BN Classics Trade Paper) on + 9 more book reviews
Very good book. Found out I am not a big fan of Wilde's writing style, but you may be!
reviewed The Picture of Dorian Gray (Barnes Noble Classics Series) (BN Classics Trade Paper) on + 6 more book reviews
Great Illustrated Classics are classic books cut down (very well done) to a length designed for elementary school age children. They also include some pictures. This is a great book.
reviewed The Picture of Dorian Gray (Barnes Noble Classics Series) (BN Classics Trade Paper) on + 216 more book reviews
Amazon.com
A lush, cautionary tale of a life of vileness and deception or a loving portrait of the aesthetic impulse run rampant? Why not both? After Basil Hallward paints a beautiful, young man's portrait, his subject's frivolous wish that the picture change and he remain the same comes true. Dorian Gray's picture grows aged and corrupt while he continues to appear fresh and innocent. After he kills a young woman, "as surely as if I had cut her little throat with a knife," Dorian Gray is surprised to find no difference in his vision or surroundings. "The roses are not less lovely for all that. The birds sing just as happily in my garden."

As Hallward tries to make sense of his creation, his epigram-happy friend Lord Henry Wotton encourages Dorian in his sensual quest with any number of Wildean paradoxes, including the delightful "When we are happy we are always good, but when we are good we are not always happy." But despite its many languorous pleasures, The Picture of Dorian Gray is an imperfect work. Compared to the two (voyeuristic) older men, Dorian is a bore, and his search for ever new sensations far less fun than the novel's drawing-room discussions. Even more oddly, the moral message of the novel contradicts many of Wilde's supposed aims, not least "no artist has ethical sympathies. An ethical sympathy in an artist is an unpardonable mannerism of style." Nonetheless, the glamour boy gets his just deserts. And Wilde, defending Dorian Gray, had it both ways: "All excess, as well as all renunciation, brings its own punishment."-
reviewed The Picture of Dorian Gray (Barnes Noble Classics Series) (BN Classics Trade Paper) on + 281 more book reviews
I found this difficult and joyless to read. No fun and no reward.
reviewed The Picture of Dorian Gray (Barnes Noble Classics Series) (BN Classics Trade Paper) on + 48 more book reviews
Great book, great story. I adore Wilde and spent most of my time in Dublin trailing around after his ghost.
reviewed The Picture of Dorian Gray (Barnes Noble Classics Series) (BN Classics Trade Paper) on + 1756 more book reviews
I had gotten this book to read the story of Dorian Gray because I've enjoyed the modern versions of the Gray character in other books and movies. However, I found this one to be too boring for my tastes and the characters ridiculously fluffy. I felt like the men in this book were more like women with their conversations. It could have something to do with the author having a love of men (which I can totally relate to!), but regardless, it just didn't grab me and I had to give up.
reviewed The Picture of Dorian Gray (Barnes Noble Classics Series) (BN Classics Trade Paper) on + 4 more book reviews
Excellent read! Much better than the move ;)
reviewed The Picture of Dorian Gray (Barnes Noble Classics Series) (BN Classics Trade Paper) on + 181 more book reviews
This is one of those works that, as an English major and former literature teacher, I felt I SHOULD have read. The premise also interested me: Dorian Gray's portrait reflects his age and immoral actions, while he stays young and attractive.

I'm not usually a fan of Victorian era literature. (I LOATHE Jane Austen.) The writing style was a bit much for me at times, and I found myself skimming, but overall the plot was interesting enough to keep me reading to the end.

Things I found interesting:
* Oscar Wilde's homosexuality very subtly peaking through in his characters. According to the forward, he toned it down a lot from the original version that was published in a magazine and caused quite a stir.
* The use of opium by the upper class. I knew it existed (i.e. Lewis Carroll), but the opening scene with one character smoking an "opium-laced cigarette" mid-afternoon fascinated me.
* The attitude of the British upper-class towards Americans. I found it hilarious that they seemed to consider Americans to be a completely different race, as if they weren't the descendants of the British and other European settlers. One character remarked that s/he wished America had never been discovered. (Of course, maybe some Brits still feel that way ; )
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"...his only novel,Wilde forged a devastating portrait of the effects of evil and debauchery on a young aesthete in late 19th-century England..." back cover
reviewed The Picture of Dorian Gray (Barnes Noble Classics Series) (BN Classics Trade Paper) on + 130 more book reviews
I know it is a classic, but it seemed tedious to me and I never got past the first 20 pages
reviewed The Picture of Dorian Gray (Barnes Noble Classics Series) (BN Classics Trade Paper) on + 9 more book reviews
Very interesting read.
reviewed The Picture of Dorian Gray (Barnes Noble Classics Series) (BN Classics Trade Paper) on + 181 more book reviews
One of my favorites, to be read again and again!
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Hard to believe it was written over 120 years ago.
reviewed The Picture of Dorian Gray (Barnes Noble Classics Series) (BN Classics Trade Paper) on + 6 more book reviews
Love this book!!!
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I'm not a bif fan of this book.